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10.7: Enable Time Machine encryption on Lion
Authored by: Ten on Jul 22, '11 11:54:57AM
Sorry, but this is hyperbole.

It's important to understand that if you encrypt a backup, if you lose your password you will have lost access to your backup. Additionally, if the header gets corrupted *and* the header backup gets corrupted (to my knowledge there's an automatic backup; at least that's the case with sparsebundles) then you also lose access, *but* in the very very rare event that does happened, if you're only using it as a backup drive, and you realise it's become corrupted, then you can simply make a new backup. There's of course a risk something will go wrong with your backup and your main computer simultaneously, but that's always been an issue with or without encryption.

Giving this advice to the average user is fair, but average users aren't browsing Mac OS X Hints. I think you need to give people more credit.

Personally, I'm a college student, I carry around an external HD with my laptop as my backup drive. My backup drive is, as you say, for if something bad happens, e.g. my laptop's hard drive dies. In that case, it still works as a backup. By using encryption, it ensures that if anyone steals my bag they can't have access to my files. It makes perfect sense to me and carries very little risk unless I forget my password which I shouldn't because I type it in every day.

Anyway, this is just plain wrong:

The whole point of backups is to be able to get to your data even if something bad happens.

The whole point of encryption is to make sure that nobody *including you* can get to your data if something bad happens.

The two concepts are mutually exclusive.

The whole point of encryption is that nobody can get access to your data without your permission, e.g. if someone steals your laptop. You don't want to have to be dealing with identity theft as well as having to buy a new laptop. It's not to prevent people getting to your data "if something bad happens" (like what?!)

Encrypted data is not "fragile by design" as you claim. There were problems with the original FileVault, back in Panther(!!!!) right when it was launched, that caused some people to lose some data and I fear that reputation will live with it, but your encrypted data is very safe now and a lot of engineering thought has gone into ensuring your data is safe over the last few years.

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10.7: Enable Time Machine encryption on Lion
Authored by: hamarkus on Jul 27, '11 08:38:22AM

Every additional backup adds another layer of security against things going wrong. Every encryption adds another vector for things to go wrong. From a probability point of view, two encrypted backups are very likely safer than one unencrypted backup but one unencrypted backup is safer than one encrypted one (from a things-going-wrong perspective not from a keeping-your-data-private perspective, there obviously encryption is a boon).
I for once would add at least one more backup the moment I start encrypting things (both main drive and backup drive). And will MacDrive support encrypted backups? Being in a situation where all your backups are on HFS+ is pretty much standard, and being in a situation where you 'only' have a Windows PC to access your backups is a possible scenario for quite a number of people.

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